Halfhyde and the Chain Gangs

Philip McCutchan, Author
Philip McCutchan, Author St. Martin's Press $12.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-312-35662-0
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Lieut. St. Vincent Halfhyde RN (inactive) had best take care: this is the second book (after The Halfhyde Line) in which he is not in control of his ship. At the start of the Boer War, Halfhyde is pressed back into service, this time as skipper of the old square-rigged Glen Halladale, transport for a draft of hardened Dartmoor convicts bound to serve in South Africa. Before the voyage, Halfhyde is offered a bribe to help smuggle gold bullion to South Africa. He reports the incident to the authorities, but after a series of mishaps, one involving his lover Victoria, Halfhyde discovers the gold is already hidden aboard. There is danger from the usual sources (the weather) and unusual ones (the restive convicts and a conspiracy that reaches into the Home Office). With his customary pluck and seamanship, Halfhyde works his way through the perils to safe harbor. Halfhyde fans will savor the late-Victorian details but may want more seamanship and fewer plot machinations. January 2
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